With regards to the LED conversion works currently being delivered in MK, we are undertaking the largest piece of work to our lighting assets in the history of the city since the initial building period and as such Ringway have increased the number of crews to deliver this challenging programme. The initial piece of work that we undertake is a pre-inspection of the structural characteristics of the lighting column itself. Once this is done any columns that have failed need to be cut down in order that they do not fall down and cause injury. We are targeting the 'older' areas of Milton Keynes first as these pose the greatest risk of column failures in addition to giving the greatest benefit in terms of energy and maintenance savings. Unfortunately this has meant a large number of columns needing replacement and the power supply transferring, once this particular piece of work is complete we will move on to other areas that have street lights that are less likely to require replacement.
Once the column is cut down it falls into a staged process in order to bring the column back into lighting. We install a replacement column next to the old column, we then install a new lantern, we then engage with Western Power (Electricity provider in MK) to transfer the old electric supply from the old failed column to the newly installed column, this part of the process is fully dependant on Western Power as we are unable to carry out this work ourselves, in normal circumstances this process takes 28 days for the cable supply to be transferred.
Due to the high number of columns that have been found to be structurally deficient we have engaged directly with Western Power in order to try and accelerate the process and co-ordinate (this is a large amount of work for them in a short period) this procedure with standard timescales for 'booking' power transfers in for completion. This has resulted in some of the columns not having the power supply re-connected as soon as we would like, but this is beyond our control.
We are exploring a temporary solution to ensure that the street lights will remain in lighting whilst we are waiting for the power transfer, this will involve extra cost but may solve this immediate problem.